July 12, 2005
Lebanon II - Building on Breaking
No substantive commentary, but I draw attention to this:
The target, a pro-Syrian politician.
I opined months back that I did not like the US supporting a maximalist approach to opposition politics because of the chances of playing into returned inter (and intra) communal violence.
The overall analysis behind this is that while, yes, a majority of Lebanese do not want a return to civil war, as in Iraq, and as in Lebanon - it is not the majority that makes these things happen. One simply needs enough hard men on either side who can make a profit in some manner, via power or money, to push it, and enough weakness on public authority side to be unable to choke the trend off.
Lebanon probably can choke the trend off, but the state is just weak enough that this can't be dismissed.
I also note the potential for a currency crisis which could help precipitate serious tensions.
Posted by The Lounsbury at July 12, 2005 06:28 AM
Filed Under: Levant
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At the moment, this is all complicated by the fact that the government has yet to be chosen. And that there's likely to be an ongoing power struggle between the prime minister and president, with Berri doing his best to make things muddier. Likely to get worse before it gets better.
Posted by: Tom Scudder at July 12, 2005 09:44 AM